What’s the result when you combine unlimited computing power, a zealous desire to manipulate everyone but the elite class humans, and a morally crippled mathematical genius? Unfettered anarchy!
Can our ever-growing torrent of information, analyzed by sophisticated computer systems, neutralize freedoms of choice, and then steer us into a predetermined destination? Would mankind sit idly by and let that happen in the name of ‘easier for me’.
There are as yet unidentified power mongers plotting massive destabilization of the stock market, with the end game to not only optimize their wealth, but to also control the future. No need to cut a nervous investor off in traffic to initiate a stock market crash. All you need is unlimited computer power and the ethical nihilism to manipulate lives to your desired end game.
The R-Group, a high-level international information gathering and security team, believes at least one group - possibly several - are using Big Data analysis to customize the future to their whim. Jacob, Petra, and the rest of the R-Group battle along with Julie and Juan's fledgling group of Cyber Assassin Technology Services (CATS) teams to locate the source of the massive computing power required. If these cyber schemers are as good at analyzing the massive amounts of information gathered daily as the R-Group the ethical boundaries of information could be crushed.
Unless the R-Group can neutralize this unrelenting threat, humanity's future will be determined by a select few. Are people unwittingly feeding an ever-growing tsunami of information into increasingly sophisticated computer systems? This begs the question: who controls whom?
With the right analysis of the information could someone have a reliable method of predicting the future? Award-winning authors Breakfield and Burkey bring the fifth book in The Enigma Series, The Enigma Stolen, into the relevant world of Big Data and analytics. They take the foundation technology then add a huge dose of suspense, intrigue, romance, humor, and bad actors to make this story the best one yet.
Discover who are the winners and losers when humans are herded to a machine's targeted end point.
About the Author
Burkey - Works as a business architect who builds solutions for customers on a good technology foundation. She has written many technology papers, white papers, but finds the freedom of writing fiction a lot more fun. As a child, she helped to lead the kids with exciting new adventures built on make believe characters, a Girl Scout until high school, and contributed to the community as a young member of a Head Start program. Rox enjoys family, learning, listening to people, travel, outdoor activities, sewing, cooking, and thinking about how to diversify the series.
Breakfield and Burkey started writing non-fictional papers and books, but it wasn't nearly as fun as writing fictional stories. They found it interesting to use the aspects of technology that people are incorporating into their daily lives more and more as a perfect way to create a good guy/bad guy story with elements of travel to the various places they have visited either professionally and personally, humor, romance, intrigue, suspense, and a spirited way to remember people who have crossed paths with them. They love to talk about their stories with private and public book readings. Burkey also conducts regular interviews of Texas authors, which she finds very interesting. Her first interview was, wait for it, Breakfield. You can often find them at local book fairs or other family oriented events.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Enigma Stolen, by Charles V. Breakfield and Roxanne E. Burkey, is the fifth book in their Enigma series. Keeping with the computer and operations themes of past books, this is a technological thriller with a global scope. The whole gang is back again: Peta, Jacob, EZ, Quip, Julie, Juan, ICABOD, and the R-Group. In past books in the series, the stories have felt institutional or hierarchical as they deal with organizations, higher principles, or government structures. The Enigma Stolen feels much more personal, more connected to individuals or substantially smaller units. Just as a warning, be prepared for acronyms while reading. R-Group finds itself grappling with a nefarious group bent on deterministically manipulating the future. Even though this book was published in 2015, there are hints that the Russians are involved, which is a very current predicament. A Polish politician, with a thoroughly pro-Western bent, suspects that he is the target of a coordinated cyber-attack. It is not too long before the group discovers who is behind the attacks -- the Werewolf Clan. This organization is bent on changing the future through the use of computing power to manipulate stock markets and critical elections to suit their purposes. They also plan to carry out character and actual assassinations as well. Besides these new threats, old enemies strike back -- Chairman Chang returns. Old characters from the Enigma series get a bit of story space but sometimes seemed sidelined in favor of the new story elements. Besides the old characters of R-Group, some other new characters are notable. Chief among them is Brayson Morris, who is tall, dark, and handsome. He is the typical ‘everyman’ character and able to blend in to almost any surroundings. He has great depth of character, speaks four languages, begins to develop some romantic feelings, and has a dark side. He has great interactions with other characters and provides the necessary pulse to the action when it begins to ebb and flow. Meanwhile, ICABOD, the Immersive Collaborative Associative Binary Override Deterministic supercomputer, provides a fair portion of the comic relief in the story. It is fascinated and intrigued by humanity, particularly the varieties of humor that are common in relationships. There are other supercomputers, each with their own quirky names. For example, Binary Operations Recalculating Integers Simultaneously (or BORIS) is probably the most interesting among them (remember, there are Russians). The Enigma Stolen is intended for at least young adult audiences, not necessarily because of any content, but in some ways, the technological/mathematical world does not easily lend itself to a particularly young audience. There is some violence, but it is fairly sanitized. The sexual content is fairly mild (PG-13ish) except for a singular instance which is jarringly vile and may be off-putting to some readers. The story has excellent pacing, but for a thriller, the rising action does not provide enough amplitude. The thrilling parts are unfortunately not that thrilling. There is solid character development for those who are featured, along with great side and parallel stories with varying degrees of depth. Overall, a solidly above average read in a solidly above average series.
Enigma Stolen by Charles V. Breakfield and Roxanne E. Burkey With extensive use of technology, one might wonder if human beings could be feeding the lion that will eventually devour them. The internet is riddled with personal information just sitting there waiting for anyone who might care to scratch a half inch deeper. Information that has been put there willingly and without a second thought about what could happen if it got into the wrong hands. The R-Group does it again. It is an intelligence gathering and security outfit that is scouring the earth for an organization or group of organization hat are using technology to not only benefit their own financial interests but also control the future of the world through stocks. ICABOD is adorable trying to decipher humor. Immersive Collaborative Associative Binary Override Deterministic system becomes an unintended, or perfectly intended, source of humor in this serious story. The ever-expanding maturity of the tech is both scary and delightful. While it can do so many more things, one cannot help but wonder how long it is until it stumbles into dangerous territory of human life. It is a little disconcerting the extent of AI in this story but it is a viable possibility. This story combines some very individually harmless elements which put together are fatal upon a single blow. Unlimited computing power garnered from networking of the world’s supercomputers and bad bad humans. People who have the desire and capability to manipulate all human beings. These mixed in with borderline genius math proficiency could be the cocktail that brings the world to its knees. Can the R-Group make headway in stopping the impending digital loom? How will Julie and Julian’s CATS influence the fight? First and foremost, this book is incredibly well researched. The authors use some very technical words that throw the reader right into the thick of it with geeks and computer freaks. It makes for a very realistic imagination of the tech world. The descriptions are vivid and the writing does not lose momentum for one minute. The same happens but still keeps the reader hooked. One will not get lost among all the tech talk and geek musings. The authors have done a good job of weaving true human conditions into the story. They have put in family ties, values, loyalty, and ethics. These work great to humanize the story. To pull the reader in so they sympathies and empathize when appropriate. These ideals cause surges of a variety of emotions at every twist and turn. With introduction of the Cyber Assassin Technology Services, the narrative opens up a whole new world of possibilities for the series. More and more characters can be introduced this way. He reader can go through the series without being worn out but the monotony of the same old characters. It is a little, and well placed, shake up t the R-Group story. A little romance is good for the soul. Breakfield & Burkey do not disappoint in that area. Some of the relationships are so interesting to witness, it almost makes one want to read a mini-novel spin off. They are endearing and so normal but different in the face of the riveting action and suspense that flows through the pages.
The fifth entry into the techno-thriller, Enigma series comes another hair-raising adventure from Charles Breakfield and Roxanne Burkey, Enigma Stolen. A secret organization has developed a supercomputer that can predict the future, while a politician believes his campaign is being targeted by a cyberassassin. This candidate enlists the aid of the R-Group, our heroes, for another mission. As the plot thickens and an attack is revealed to be orchestrated by the clandestine Werewolf Clan, which has ties to Nazis, has been using a computer program to predict stock futures and potentially manipulate the future around the world. It will be up to the R-Group to repel the attacks from outside and within their tight-knit group of hackers and techies. Living up to the series legacy yet again, Breakfield and Burkey have given readers a terribly fun and thrilling ride that has all the twists we have come to expect. With the extra conflict of a “mole” in the R-Group along with the regular threats, deepens this novel a bit and with the new development of another hacker group that brings new faces in, will give readers more to chew on as the series progresses. Clearly, the series needed new breath and this was exactly what it needed. The entanglement of these new characters with the old will please fans of the series. And in other ways, it seems that there could be room for possible spin-offs, which should excite some fans of the series. There’s just so much intrigue to this world and the clarity that often is too obscure or convoluted with the tech and hacker lingo is easily unpacked in these books. The excellent characters that Breakfield and Burkey have managed to create is what carries this book, maybe even more so than all the twists and turns in the plot. And considering the romances that fill the book, though most have been established in previous installments help to give us a break from the often tension-filled positions of this thriller. What I personally liked was R-Group’s own super computer, which is nicknamed ICABOD. Anyone who is interested in AI and the concerns of such intelligence would find some fun tech concepts that the authors play with a little, as they always do throughout the series. It will be exciting to see where the Enigma series goes next! Fans of the series will be pleased with this book. Lovers of techno-thrillers do not need to look any further than this series, go grab it today!
Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite The Enigma Stolen by Charles V Breakfield and Roxanne E Burkey is a superb thriller that will leave readers wowed and utterly entertained. What if man can be accurately defined with the help of technology? What if a group of people can define how others could act or react to situations and determine a future for humanity? A powerful, elusive group is about to play God and control the future of humanity by harnessing technology. Only the R-Group can apprehend this group, but it seems to be weakened from within. Who is the mole and can the R-Group solve its internal issues in time to go after the bad guys? In book five of the intriguing Enigma Series, Charles V Breakfield and Roxanne E Burkey offer great entertainment to readers, displaying a powerful imagination and a very high skill in the art of narration. The Enigma Stolen, just like the other installments in this series, could make for a highly appealing motion picture, with high-tech guys wading through an intricate network of information to find clues that would help them solve problems that threaten the very future of humankind. The writing is accessible and the plot leads readers to unexpected and exciting places. Although a work of fiction, the authors have the knack of making readers feel like part of the plot. They write with an arresting sense of realism. This is another great book in a highly compelling series. A must-read!